New NBA mock draft would give Milwaukee Bucks options to fill several roster holes

Milwaukee Bucks Introduce Doc Rivers
Milwaukee Bucks Introduce Doc Rivers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

With the NBA Playoffs nearing, the Milwaukee Bucks are laser-focused on winning a title and not so much on who they will be drafting in the coming months.

Still, it's something they have in the back of their minds, as this team, one of the oldest in the league, could use an infusion of youth at some point. Specifically, the Bucks would benefit from bringing in a young wing with defensive upside who possesses athleticism and can help create versatile lineups. The Athletic's Sam Vecenie (subscription required) put together a mock that would help with that.

New NBA mock draft would give Milwaukee Bucks options to fill several roster holes

With the 25th overall pick, Vecenie has the Bucks taking Ryan Dunn from Virginia. Vecenie described the 21-year-old as an "elite defensive playmaker," averaging 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per contest in 2023-24. At 6-foot-8, the defensive ace can defend players of all shapes and sizes, possessing an incredible amount of versatility.

The biggest knock on Dunn is his offense. He's averaged just 5.5 points per game over two seasons, and he's never been a strong shooter, knocking in just 12 of his 50 attempts in that span (24 percent). On top of that, he shot a mere 52.6 percent on his free throw attempts. There are certainly questions about how his offense may look at the next level.

Vecenie compared Dunn to New Orleans Pelicans wing Herb Jones defensively when he entered the NBA in 2021. If the Bucks could get a Herb Jones esque defender on their roster, it would patch one of the most prominent flaws this group has had in recent memory in the lack of young, athletic wing defenders. The offense would need polishing, but Dunn's defense could be a big boost.

Thanks to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Bucks are also slated to have a second-rounder in this draft, projected to be 35th overall in this particular mock.

With the pick, Vecenie has the Bucks selecting Colorado's Tristan da Silva. He's got the chops to be a quality defender at the next level, but da Silva's biggest impact might come on offense. Over his past two seasons, the forward averaged 15.8 points while shooting 38.5 percent from three. At 6-foot-8, he is a good shooter for his size, which should captivate plenty of NBA teams.

The 22-year-old would fit nicely with the Milwaukee Bucks, giving them a versatile forward on the larger side of things who could provide more quality perimeter shooting and decent defense. If the Bucks do indeed swoop him up, the four-year collegiate player might be able to contribute sooner rather than later due to what he brings to the table and his years of experience.

One big reason either of these players might cause some hesitancy is Milwaukee's current logjam of young guards and forwards. MarJon Beauchamp, AJ Green, Chris Livingston and Andre Jackson Jr. are all standard roster players, and none of them outside of Green have seen many minutes since the coaching change mid-season. Adding two more young players could jam the rotation further.

Yet, they could also stock up on young guards and forwards to lessen their average age and attempt to become more athletic, sorting through who fits where and who needs minutes when camp comes. Having many players at a position that has been an uncertainty for the Bucks over the past few years would not be the worst thing imaginable.

If the Bucks intend to keep the selections, something worth at least exploring would be scouting the market for someone to shadow Brook Lopez, who is nearing 36 years old. Lopez is under contract for another season, but having a big man learn the ropes behind him while providing depth would make sense as the Milwaukee Bucks aim to compete in the present while also building for the future.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor proposed the Bucks draft Zach Edey of Purdue to solve this problem, but the general consensus is that Milwaukee should look elsewhere. Edey is a tremendous player, but there are other big men in this draft that might fit Milwaukee's needs better, especially with a first and second-round selection.

Dunn and da Silva would be intriguing prospects for the Milwaukee Bucks, who could stand to add young athletes with excellent upside on both ends.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.